Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, No. C087294 (Cal. Ct. App. 3rd 2020)
Nature of Case: Plaintiff, a civil rights organization, brought an action for a writ of mandate in California state court in the wake of a voter-passed ballot initiative which expanded parole eligibility for people serving prison terms for non-violent offenses. The Defendant, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, was tasked with carrying out the measure and promulgated regulations that excluded anyone convicted of a sex offense from the benefit of the ballot initiative on public safety grounds. Plaintiff’s alleged that the Defendant’s regulations violated the plain text of the ballot initiative in that people who were serving sentences for non-violent sex offenses should be eligible.
The California State trial court found for the Plaintiff, and the state Defendants sought review.
Holding: California Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision. The Defendant’s regulations carrying out the ballot initiative, insofar as they excluded individuals convicted of non-violent sex offenses from parole eligibility, contradicted the plain text of the initiative.